SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Will Gore

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February 27, 2020
In 1879, Ned Kelly dictated what came to be known as the Jerilderie Letter to Joe Byrne, a member of his infamous gang. Stretching to almost 8,000 words, the document defended Kelly and his associates’ criminal actions. It also attacked, in jagged language, the Australian police force as a corrupt and dangerous institution. “It takes
January 16, 2020
The New Pope is not to be confused with The Two Popes, the buddy comedy about Francis and Benedict that Netflix released before Christmas (and which, inexplicably, many people liked). The New Pope is the second series of the HBO show that previously went by the name of The Young Pope – and it returned
December 05, 2019
The big news for Netflix has been the release of The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s latest mobster epic which reunites Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Following closely behind it, out now in cinemas on limited release and scheduled to land on the streaming service on December 20, The Two Popes is another Netflix
November 28, 2019
Ultra By Tobias Jones, Head of Zeus, 288pp, £20/$25 Over the years English football hooligans have been the inspiration for a lot of shoddy books. Mainly badly written memoirs by former “top boys”, full of embellished tales of ultraviolence with titles such as Want Some Aggro? and Sex, Drugs and Football Thugs. There are honourable
October 24, 2019
It’s no surprise that François Ozon’s By the Grace of God is being compared to Spotlight, the Oscar-winning film about the uncovering of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Boston. Like Spotlight, Ozon’s film re-enacts a high-profile abuse scandal involving numerous victims and failures on the part of the Church hierarchy to deal with
May 30, 2019
For most Catholics living through the Troubles, an invitation to a meeting with the leaders of the main Loyalist paramilitary groups would have meant one thing: violent death. But when Gerry Storey got a call in the spring of 1972 requesting the pleasure of his company at just such a gathering, he didn’t go into
April 04, 2019
The Border By Don Winslow, Harper Collins, 746pp, £20/$29 Sometimes, when reading a novel, it’s love at first page. I had that sensation about a decade ago with The Power of the Dog, Don Winslow’s brilliant, brutal crime thriller about the Mexican drug cartels. It told the story of the rapid expansion of the cross-border
January 10, 2019
In 2016, Fr Francesco Bamonte, president of the International Association of Exorcists, said that “the way in which evil, demonic possession, the prayer of exorcism and liberation” are presented in film and television was “disappointing and unacceptable”. His main criticism was that fictional portrayals of exorcism tend to exaggerate human and satanic power over God.
December 06, 2018
With the beatification of the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine (and 11 other male and female Religious killed during the civil war that raged in Algeria throughout the 1990s) due to take place on Saturday, December 8, I recently rewatched Of Gods and Men, the 2010 film about their tragic story. When I first watched
September 27, 2018
Jusepe de Ribera is far more than a Caravaggio tribute act, says Will Gore “They look a bit like Caravaggio.” That’s what most people say about the paintings of Jusepe de Ribera. It’s impossible not to see the influence of the wild Italian in Ribera’s best known works, with dramatic chiaroscuro revealing violent religious scenes
September 27, 2018
Jusepe de Ribera is far more than a Caravaggio tribute act, says Will Gore
September 06, 2018
The year is 1940, and the Battle of Britain is going so badly for the RAF that the top brass are reluctantly considering allowing a group of Polish airmen to form a fighter squadron to help repel Jerry. Hopes are not high for the new recruits following their comprehensive defeat by the Luftwaffe over mainland